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[ri-sahyt] /rɪˈsaɪt/
verb (used with object), recited, reciting.
to repeat the words of, as from memory, especially in a formal manner:
to recite a lesson.
to repeat (a piece of poetry or prose) before an audience, as for entertainment.
to give an account of:
to recite one's adventures.
to enumerate.
verb (used without object), recited, reciting.
to recite a lesson or part of a lesson for a teacher.
to recite or repeat something from memory.
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English reciten < Latin recitāre to read aloud, equivalent to re- re- + citāre to summon, cite1
Related forms
recitable, adjective
reciter, noun
prerecite, verb (used with object), prerecited, prereciting.
unrecited, adjective
well-recited, adjective
3. narrate, describe. See relate. 4. count, number, detail. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for reciting
  • The profs are merely reciting from a book, often verbatim, sometimes with a poorly scrawled diagram.
  • It seems one side and the other are mostly reciting arguments learnt by heart.
  • He seemed to me to be reciting some complicated gibberish.
  • His tongue is only stealthily in his check, and his voice is as calm and level as if he were reciting the multiplication table.
  • What they found instead was a ragged huddle of players, straining to join hands in the center of their ring and reciting.
  • She tries reciting her school lessons to settle her nerves, but practicing does not provide her with any comfort.
  • If someone's words cause you discomfort, that inner reaction itself is worth reciting.
  • The nervous, defeated-looked candidates plod on, reciting their speeches.
  • reciting is not talking, and interviews are about showing you can listen as much as proving you can speak.
  • She immersed herself in the water three times, reciting a prayer each time, in spite of inhaling water and briefly choking.
British Dictionary definitions for reciting


to repeat (a poem, passage, etc) aloud from memory before an audience, teacher, etc
(transitive) to give a detailed account of
(transitive) to enumerate (examples, etc)
Derived Forms
recitable, adjective
reciter, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Latin recitāre to cite again, from re- + citāre to summon; see cite
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for reciting



early 15c., from Old French reciter (12c.) and directly from Latin recitare "read aloud, read out, repeat from memory, declaim," from re- "back, again" (see re-) + citare "to summon" (see cite). Related: Recited; reciting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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